Managing your business travel during crisis – do's and don’ts
by Tanishka Goyal, Marketing Manager
When times feel as uncertain as they do right now, it’s easy to make decisions that feel right for the times but may hurt your travel programme in the long term. We’ve gathered business travel tips and recommendations from veteran Travel Managers and Egencia Account Managers. These tips should help you optimise business travel programmes during this uncertain period and prepare for when your business travellers get back on the road.
Actions you can take now
- Mitigate risk for your company and travellers: Do you still have travellers on the road? Take a few minutes to review how you can support them and their travel safety through these risk mitigation and management solutions and get the latest updates on travel options on the Egencia help centre.
- Learn industry best practices: Join one of our virtual events or visit the webinar hub to learn ways your business can manage risk, provide duty of care and enhance travel safety during natural disasters or pandemics.
- Connect with your peers and Egencia leadership: Join the Egencia Connect Community for travel managers to hear how your peers are navigating through this crisis, share what’s worked for your company and access many useful resources to support your business travel programme management. Plus, you can tune into the online events and Q&As with the Egencia leadership team to stay abreast of the latest travel news.
- Take a deep dive into specific business travel management topics: With the usual workloads disrupted, now is a great time to gain a better understanding of various business travel tips and topics that you’ve always wanted to learn more about. Refer to our library of on-demand videos or work with your Account Manager on things like setting up payment terms and getting the most out of Egencia Analytics Studio.
- Prepare now to get out of the crisis faster: A little preparation will go a long way to a smooth operating programme when travel inevitably amps back up.
- Remind your travellers about:
- What to do with unused tickets
- When to use flexible rates
- How to cancel or modify trips directly online
- Updating their profile by adding their mobile number and emergency contact details
- Review your business travel programme:Your needs are likely going to have evolved after this crisis which means now is the ideal time to adjust your travel programme, review your duty of care guidelines, and perhaps even add some sustainability components. Consider reviewing your payment solutions. For example, Lodge Cards can be used as a way to collect data and streamline reconciliations.
- Prepare for your programme relaunch:With your travellers off the road for an extended period, it’s a good opportunity to re-educate them about the benefit of booking online and reinforce your business travel policy and guidelines. We’ve prepared a step-by-step programme along with a set of assets you can customise with your company’s logo and specifics.
- Review communication preferences: Review your communication preferences to ensure we can reach you and your travellers with the right information at the right time. Consistent communication will be important to help travellers stay in the loop during this rapidly evolving time.
What not to do right now
- Do not deactivate/delete all profiles to block travel:Instead of deleting profiles, review your policy set-up to make sure your travellers don’t take unnecessary risks. You can define a route or destination as out of policy or block the ability to book flights to specific destinations.
- Do not cancel all future bookings in advance: Many airlines, rail providers, car rentals and hotels will offer flexible cancellation policies and refunds closer to the date of travel if travel advisories are still in effect. You can see the latest cancellation policies here.
- Do not allow maverick buying (booking on various sites or directly through suppliers): Now more than ever, duty of care is of utmost importance. Booking with Egencia can not only save time and money, it also ensures you can reach your travellers and give them the support they need for a safe return.
- Do not panic - Don’t make any rash decisions around travel right now; it’s going to take a while for a sense of normalcy to return. Consult with your Account Managers before making any major decisions regarding your business travel programme and tune into the Q&As with Egencia leadership to get your questions answered.